World Economic Forum on Web 2.0
Today the World Economic Forum hosted a session on Web 2.0 and emerging social network models. Others call it user-generated content or participatory media.

A video broadcast is available.

The one-hour session, hosted by Peter Schwartz, chairman of the Global Business Network, addressed two core questions:
1. What is driving the emergence of virtual communities? Is the rapid rise in their valuations justified?
2. How are companies beginning to use social networking strategies for product and market development, as well as for communication?

Participants were:

  • Caterina Fake, Founder, Flickr, USA
  • William H. Gates III, Chairman, Microsoft Corporation, USA
  • Chad Hurley, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, YouTube, USA
  • Mark G. Parker, President and Chief Executive Officer, Nike, USA
  • Viviane Reding, Commissioner, Information Society and Media, European Commission, Brussels

Dennis Kneale, managing editor of Forbes Magazine acted as the session challenger. He took his job seriously, pointing most of his fire at the one non-US panel member: EU commissioner Viviane Reding.

Reding held herself grandly and made according to me an interesting and thoughtful point about the protection of individual rights in this new world. Not present was Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia. But you can read some of his ideas on a blog post by Bruce Nussbaum.

At the end of the session, Chad Hurley made headline news by announcing that his team is working on a revenue-sharing mechanism with YouTube users that will “foster creativity”. [See AP | BBC]